Kids' backpacks by SoYoung MotherI learned the hard way, as have many parents, that if you buy a cheap backpack for your kid, even your toddler, you will be buying a second (and possibly third) backpack before the school year is through. So now I look for good quality, functionality, and still a cute design.

Because another thing I’ve learned: it’s harder for my kids to forget their bag at home every morning if they actually look forward to showing it off.

CMP favorite mom-run SoYoung Mother now is meeting all these criteria with an adorable new selection of kids’ backpacks
made out of a sturdy but comfy canvas, with leather-like trim, hold the
PVC. There are three refreshingly unique motifs to choose from (no cartoon characters!)
including a cool camera, a global map, and a really pretty pink peony,
which is far more subtle and sophisticated in person than the bright photos on

I love the wipeable contrasting fabric inside, although if you use those
bottle pockets on the outside, hopefully you won’t need to wipe it out

Bonus: Each backpack comes with a matching insulated lunch pack that collapses down and fits inside perfectly.

Kids' pink peony backpack from SoYoung Mother
Kids' backpacks and matching lunch bags from SoYoung Mother

The backpacks can handle full-size homework folders and a few books for
early grade schoolers, and it does have a chest strap–but obviously
don’t offer the kind of super techno lumbar support you want for a teen
with 600 pounds of textbooks.

However if you’ve got a toddler who
doesn’t need more than a lunch and maybe a change of underwear and a
smiley face note from home, there’s an adorable selection of toddler backpacks too. (I heart that red Vespa.)

Vespa toddler backpack
Robot toddler backpack

The big kids backpacks are $75 and the toddler ones are $65. According to my math, either of those are cheaper than $35 + $35 + $35. –Liz

Find a selection of toddler backpacks and children’s backpacks plus lunch accessories, all online from indie shop SoYoung Mother.